Foldable displays have slowly become something I no longer give a second thought to in the smartphone world — being able to double the size of a phone’s display just makes sense. But after learning about the Corsair Xeneon Flex, a 45-inch gaming monitor with a display panel that can be bent to go from a traditional flat format to a curved ultra-wide monitor, I found myself asking, “Why would you need that?”
I’ve been using the Xeneon Flex for two weeks now — splitting my time gaming and working on it — and not only do I have an answer to my previous skepticism, but I’m seriously debating whether or not I should mash the buy button as soon as I box up the review unit to send it back.
I don’t want to spoil too much about it, but what the heck. This is the best gaming monitor I’ve ever used. Read on to find out why and how it can be improved.
If you're willing to splurge on a unique bendable OLED display that's great for gaming and productivity alike, the Xeneon Flex is worth the high price.
What we liked about it
It has a stunning OLED panel
I have a soft spot for OLED screens because they look fantastic. Smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung have been using OLED displays for years in high-end phones. They’re not only energy efficient (important for battery-powered devices), but they also have better color saturation, deeper blacks and a generally more appealing look to them.
That same sentiment applies to all 45 inches of the Xeneon Flex. It has a max resolution of 3440 x 1440 with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
The majority of my time using the Xeneon Flex was spent playing a mix of Call of Duty: Warzone 2, Fortnite and Hogwarts Legacy. And, on the very last day of testing, I spent a few minutes gawking The Last of Us Part I.
No matter the game, I couldn’t get over how realistic the graphics looked. Walking through the Great Hall in Hogwarts, looking at the candles flickering as they floated over my character’s head was stunning. I completed the third trial in Hogwarts Legacy on my PC simply because I wanted to see the way the alternate reality (being vague on purpose here to avoid spoilers) looked on the Xeneon Flex and I was not disappointed.
It’s HDR10 certified, offers 1,000 nits peak brightness and has a max refresh rate of 240Hz — a number my gaming PC can’t approach when playing Fortnite, but one that ensures you’ll be able to run your favorite PC games at super-smooth framerates.
It freaking bends
When shopping for a monitor, especially a gaming monitor, you’re usually forced to make a decision: Do you want a straight or curved display? Gaming monitors have gravitated towards a curved design because having a screen wrap around your head has a more immersive feel to it. But curved displays can make some apps, and especially documents, look a little funny for those times when you’re using the display for work.
Well, with the Corsair Xeneon Flex, you don’t have to choose. The display panel physically bends and it’s one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen with tech — but only because every time I push or pull on the panel, I’m convinced I’m going to break it.
On each edge of the display, tucked behind the screen itself, is a handle. You push a button on the handle to extend it out, and then slowly and carefully, you can pull or push the display into your preferred configuration. You keep moving the screen until you hear a click, letting you know you’ve reached that side’s respective limit and it’s locked into place.
Initially, I was moving both sides of the screen at the same time, but eventually got in the habit of moving one side, then the other, that way I could hear each side’s click. When you’re done moving the screen, you can slide the handles back into place and out of sight.
If you really want to get creative, you can pull one side of the display towards you, but leave the opposite side flat to create a unique workflow or gaming experience.
The first time I bent the display, I swore I was going to break it. Adding to my fear was a series of lines that showed up across the display as I pulled it closer to its limit — similar to what you’d see in a cracked smartphone display after dropping it. I think the lines were due to the display being cold; I had just unboxed it after it was on a chilly Colorado delivery truck for most of the day. Since that initial bend test, I haven’t seen those lines again.
The ability to go between flat and a curved setup with the Xeneon Flex is hands-down my favorite aspect of the display. Using it with both edges pushed back while working makes the 45-inch panel feel huge and like you can’t run out of screen space.
But then I’d bend the display towards me when it was time to game, and it immediately changed the entire experience, making me feel completely immersed in what I was playing.
It has ports for days
There’s not only a wide range of input support, but there are also a few USB ports built into the Xeneon Flex’s stand, which means it doubles as a USB hub of sorts. Granted, the ports are only USB Type-A, but they’ll definitely make it easier to connect gaming accessories or extra storage to your computer.
In total, there are four different input options located on the backside of the stand: two HDMI 2.1 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.4 connection, and a USB-C port with DisplayPort alt-mode (which just means that it can act as a connection from the display to a computer via USB-C).
There’s an upstream USB-C port that facilitates a connection between your computer and the display, allowing you to do things like update the display’s firmware or use the standard USB ports in the stand to add more connections to your PC.
Speaking of additional ports, there are two USB Type A ports on the back of the stand, just below the inputs. There are two more USB Type A ports on the front of the stand, with a 3.5mm audio-out port next to them. Also on the front of the stand are an input button, a power button with an LED indicator and a menu button/joystick for navigating the display’s menu and options. The menu was easy to understand and navigate, with a similar design to pretty much every monitor, offering everything from a crosshair overlay (!!) to various presets and display settings. But using the joystick was, at times, an exercise in frustration due to its location. I talk more about the inability to raise the display’s height below, but the location of the button can be awkward to use if you need to frequently change settings.
There are plenty of ports available on the Xeneon Flex, allowing you to do things like connect an external hard drive to the back of the stand while using the front ports for a thumb drive or even the USB dongle for your keyboard or mouse.
What we didn’t like about it
You can’t adjust its height
By far my biggest complaint about the Xeneon Flex is the inability to adjust the height of the display with the included stand. You can adjust its forward and back tilt by up to 22 degrees, but if you want it any higher off your desk, you’ll need to find a stand or use an old phone book.
The stand’s height puts the middle of the screen at just below eye level when I’m sitting in front of it, which isn’t a big deal on its own. What I don’t like about the height is that when using a laptop or tablet, the bottom section of the Xeneon Flex is blocked by the device’s display. And because the additional USB ports and controls are built into the stand, the display of my MacBook (or any other laptop) blocks access to them.
Furthermore, the handle you use to adjust the screen extends out from the bottom of the screen directly in front of the buttons and ports, limiting the space you have to maneuver your hand and make adjustments or plug something in.
My rough measurements put the bottom of the display about 4.5 inches above my desk. But when you take the handle into account, you only have about 3.25 inches of space. That’s… not a lot. If the height were adjustable, you’d be able to move the screen and the handle up above the top of a laptop’s screen and provide more room to interact with the monitor’s peripherals and controls.
The Xeneon Flex doesn’t have any sort of VESA mounting options, but Corsair’s website does note that mounting accessories are coming soon. Hopefully, those solutions will provide some sort of solution.
Switching between inputs can be slow and finicky
If you plan on using multiple devices across the myriad of ports the Xeneon Flex has, then I hope you have some patience. I’ve primarily used the DisplayPort for my gaming PC, and the USB-C port to connect multiple devices such as a Steam Deck, iPad Pro, MacBook Pro and a Surface Pro 8 during my testing.
With only my gaming PC connected to the display, I had no issues with how quickly it’d go from sleeping or standby mode to powered on and ready for use.
However, as soon as I connected a second device to it, it was as if it woud get confused as to which input should be active, and the display would ultimately go back to sleep.
It didn’t matter if I used the input button that’s built into the stand to force it to the proper input, it’d ultimately cycle through all of the inputs a couple of times and then go back to sleep. Oftentimes, I’d have to power down my gaming PC or unplug the secondary device in order for it to display the correct input.
I only recall getting it to work properly when multiple devices were connected on a handful of occasions.
How it compares
3440 x 1440 (21:9)
3440 x 1440 (21:9)
Quantum dot OLED, anti-reflective
Up to 800R (optional)
DisplayPort: 175Hz, HDMI: 100Hz
1,000 nit peak
250 typical, 1,000 peak
2 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x USB Type-C DisplayPort, 4 x USB 3.2 ports, 1 x 3.5mm audio output, 1 x USB Type-C upstream
2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 4 x USB 5 Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 1) downstream, 1 x SB 5 Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 1) upstream, 1 x audio line-out, 1 x headphone-out
AMD FreeSync Premium, NVIDIA G-Sync compatible
AMD FreeSync Premium, NVIDIA G-Sync compatible
I’ve used a handful of gaming monitors over the years, but I’ve never felt as if any of them were downright impressive. They were all good, maybe even great, but ultimately forgettable.
That’s no longer the case after testing the Corsair Xeneon Flex. It looks fantastic, and its ability to go from flat to curved and back is the versatility I never knew I wanted in an external monitor, let alone a gaming monitor.
The Xeneon Flex is for someone who has a multipurpose desk setup. Someone who, during work hours, would benefit from a traditional display, allowing them to spread windows across the 45-inch screen and get work done. After hours, however, with the quick bend of the display, they can be enveloped by their current game of choice, all while getting stellar picture quality.
For someone who doesn’t want or need the versatility — or just wants to save some money — the $1,300 Alienware AW3423DW OLED monitor (our top ultrawide pick) is more affordable and looks fantastic, but is slightly less versatile.
Admittedly, $2,000 is a lot of any sort of monitor, regardless of its purpose. But if I were going to pay that much for one, it’d be the Xeneon Flex.